Dollars and Sense: How to unleash your creative abilities

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Businesses today place a premium on innovation.

Many organizations reward employees with recognition, career advancement and even cash bonuses for developing successful new ideas.

Yet, if you poll 100 adults at random, a large majority will report that they do not have much creative ability.

Say the word creativity and most of us immediately conjure up images of writers, painters and other &8220;naturally creative&8221; types.

In reality, we all possess the ability to think creativity. Think back to when you were a kid. How many times did you turn a box into a car?

Remember when you and some friends figured our how to build a bicycle jumping ramp.

Unfortunately, as adults we constrict our imaginations and unknowingly place limitations on our ability &8220;think outside the box.&8221;

The pace and demands of everyday living blocks our natural curiosity.

But it does not have to be that way. To fire up your creative juices, consider these approaches.

-Stretch your personal comfort zone and become more curious. When you leave your personal comfort zone, you immediately enter the learning zone, where you have the opportunity to awaken your creative side.

-Become open to new thoughts and ideas. Have you ever known a person who votes a straight ticket in every election? Talk about being closed minded. Opening up our minds to new and different ideas is a must step for launching our creative abilities.

-Energize yourself. Think back to a work assignment that really excited you. I&8217;ll bet your energy level was high during that time. Energy prepares the mind for creative success so now is a great time to begin that new exercise program or to re-engage with other activities that help you build energy.

-Keep an ideas notebook to capture those great, but fleeting ideas that we all have but never act on. By writing down all of your great ideas, very soon you will stop saying that you are not a creative person.

Yes, you are creative! And with the start of a new year, now is an opportune time to start to awaken your creative abilities.